COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Georgia House of Representatives recently passed a bill stipulating a sales tax on ridesharing apps, which includes Uber and Lyft.
Four percent of the funds would go to the state and a varying additional percent would go to local municipalities.
In Columbus, the combination would be eight percent.
On Friday, March 3, the bill HB 225 failed by a vote of 88 to 82. On the second vote on Friday night, the bill passed by a vote of 106 to 60.
Most states do not tax riders on Uber trips. South Carolina charges riders a one percent fee on each ride.
Some states do not require any fee remittance for ridesharing companies, such as Tennessee. Most states impose a fixed annual fee like Virginia, which requires an initial registration fee of $100,000 and $60,000 annually in subsequent years.
Other states set fees based on the number of vehicles operating in the state. Examples include Kentucky, which capped at $22,500 annually, and Nevada, which capped at $500,000 annually.
Imposing this high of a tax on Georgia's Uber riders would generate revenue drastically higher than states across the country.
HB 225 makes clear that ridesharing has previously been exempted from a sales tax in Georgia.
"After first voting down and rejecting a high tax on every Uber ride in the state of Georgia, the House reversed course and passed the tax hike - forcing seniors to pay more for rides to their doctors, students to pay more for safe rides home late at night, and commuters to pay more for rides to work," said Uber spokeswoman Evangeline George. "This tax is wildly out of step with how ridesharing is governed across the United States. As this legislation moves to the Senate, we urge senators to protect the hard-earned money of their constituents and work to create a solution that makes sense for Georgians."
George said Uber had hoped that Georgia would create a fee structure similar to other states and match the realities of ridesharing. However, the bill is expected to move forward unless riders speak up.